Ankara awards BMC contract for 529 armoured vehicles
December 6, 2023
BMC Kirpi mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle. Photo credit: BMC

Ankara awards BMC contract for 529 armoured vehicles

The Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) has awarded the Turkish auto-manufacturer BMC Otomotiv ve Savunma Sanayi A.Ş. a contract for 529 tactical wheeled armoured vehicles meant for the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).

The contract was issued under the Tactical Wheeled Vehicles-2 (TTA-2) program, which was initially raised to support Turkish industries as well as to support Ankara’s aim of indigenizing its supply sources for arms.

Defense News reports that the contract is worth approximately $350 million U.S.

BMC will also provide the TSK with an improved variant of the BMC Kirpi mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle – i.e. the “Yeni Kirpi.” The Yeni Kirpi was unveiled in May in Istanbul at IDEF 2017.

The Kirpi MRAP platform is a 4×4 vehicle built from a steel hull that can protect against 7.62×51 mm rounds (i.e. STANAG 4569 Level-3). The chassis can also sustain blasts from grenades and land mines (i.e. STANAG 4569 Level 3B). Powered by a 370 hp engine, the Kirpi has a top speed of 100 km/h and range of 800 km. It can transport 15 fully-armed soldiers and utilize a remote-controlled weapon station.

BMC is among Turkey’s major auto-manufacturers. In the defence space, it competes against Otokar and the Nurol Makina-BAE Systems joint venture FNSS for SSM contracts.

BMC has also exported 300 MRAPs to several markets, among them Turkmenistan, Tunisia and Pakistan. It reportedly has a large-scale contract from Qatar as well. BMC has also partnered with Malaysia’s Etika and Germany’s Rheinmetall AG to form a vendor of armoured solutions for Asia and the Middle East.

Besides light armoured vehicles, BMC is also competing with FNSS and Otokar for the SSM’s contract for Turkish Army Altay main battle tanks (MBT). The SSM had declined Otokar’s original proposal (ostensibly on financial grounds), opting to launch a new tender.